Top digital microscopes reviewed & buying guide
If you are short on time and you just want to find the best digital microscopes, this short paragraph should help you get just the model you need. According to our findings, the OMAX 40X-2500X is the best because it is a full-size microscope that can allow you to glance at many kinds of specimens, especially as it is equipped with an outstanding magnification that can be customized between 40X and 2500X, depending on the lens you will be using. What’s more, the OMAX comes with a 14-megapixel camera which means that it will be far easier for you to capture the images using the controls of the cam. Furthermore, the camera can be connected to any laptop or computer provided that it is USB-capable. It’s also worth noting that this OMAX model comes with software that can be used on virtually all operating systems, should they be Windows, Mac OS, or Linux. Finally, the most significant advantage of choosing this microscope consists of the fact that it also has a LED lamp that can be replaced by the owner as the instructions provided by the manufacturer in this sense are relatively straightforward. If theOMAX 40X-2500X is unavailable, your second option should be the AmScope M158C-SP14-E.
Getting a digital microscope these days can be quite a daunting task given that there are many models to choose from, and most of them have excellent performance. Since we are committed to helping prospective buyers and microscope users purchase the right product for their needs, we’ve decided to create a buying guide that lets you go through the most important factors you need to consider. Check it out below.
If you are not a well-seasoned user and you’re looking for the best beginner digital microscope, the first thing you must do is try to assess your purpose. Just what are you trying to achieve with such a magnifying product? Will you be looking at bacteria and other microorganisms or are you likely to stick to examining the details of rocks, coins, and other small-sized solid objects? If that is the case you should probably opt for either a dissecting microscope or a light microscope a Since only you are capable of answering these questions, we urge you to start prospecting the market only after you’ve made up your mind about the items you may want to analyze using your microscope.
In most cases, these units are categorized depending on their power. As such, you’ll find that there’s a vast array of low-power alternatives and high-power options. Compound microscopes, which are the high power versions you might stumble upon, are typically used in science areas such as biology, microbiology, chemistry, and for medical purposes.
These can be utilized to look at blood cells as well as living microorganisms that may be living in bodily secretions, water, the skin surface of humans and animals, as well as virtually any kind of liquid that may exist out there. The magnification makes the difference when it comes to separating the high-power models from their low-power counterparts, considering that the first are usually capable of magnifying the image of specimens of up to 1000X and few models even go up to 2500X.
By contrast, low-power units, also known as stereo microscopes, have a limited magnification that normally goes up to 80X. Since their capabilities in this sense are less impressive, you will be able to use such a product for examining anything from coins and stamps to rocks and pieces of jewelry. In other words, if you are a collector or jewelry maker, you need to look for these models. The neat thing about such a product is that it can easily be the best affordable digital microscope, provided that you do a bit of research and get the most value you can.
The camera with which digital microscopes are equipped is, in fact, the main thing that makes them digital in the first place. Just like you would if you were to buy a separate photo camera, you have to consider things such as the resolution, memory, and average reliability. Of all of these factors, the most important one is the resolution, as you’ll need plenty if you intend to see in-depth images without having to make an effort.
Microscope cameras can have a variable resolution, but capturing the picture at a high one is especially important if you intend to print or project the image at some point or the other. Since it is difficult to tell whether the included cam offers more than enough performance and will make your images crisp and clear, we recommend you to refer to some of the best digital microscope reviews. If you plan to invest your money in a compound model, you’ll have to spend some time reading the opinions of scientists who took the time to review the product you might be prospecting.
The whole point of a digital microscope is that it should be connected to a computer, laptop, or any other type of visualizing or storing device that lets you view and save the pictures of the specimen that is being examined. This can be achieved in two ways. Some units are HDMI-capable, which basically means that you will be able to connect them directly to a monitor.
USB connectivity is what matters the most when it comes to selecting the perfect microscope. Through this type of connection you will be able to see the images on your laptop and even use software to save and modify the files. Depending on the software, you may also benefit from the freedom of making measurements. When setting a diagnosis, the measurements of the lesion or pathogen may prove to be critical.
Our 2019 list: Find the right digital microscope for your needs
Some of the best digital microscopes are showcased below. We’ve gone through many reviews and ratings to try to understand what makes these models better than others. In the end, we had to make a limited selection and it consists of the units that really come with unparalleled performance. If you still have not made up your mind, it wouldn’t hurt if you checked them out.
This is a compound alternative, which means that you’ll be able to use any kind of specimen, whether you intend to look at stamps and coins or examine a smear. This model is considered to be a trinocular alternative because it comes with an include 14-megapixel camera that makes it possible for owners to capture images that take the cake when it comes to clarity.
What’s more, the software is included in the pack, and therefore, you won’t have to spend any extra money on buying it separately. It is also worth noting that there have been no compatibility issues reported with regard to connectivity and the way this device works with Mac OS, Windows, or Linux operating systems.
The only minor disadvantage that we have discovered is the fact that the OMAX does not work with mobile devices such as an iPhone or iPad, given that it requires a USB connection in order to transfer the images.
The microscope is easy to use and suitable for all levels of experience. Those who previously worked with had high-end microscopes were content.
Good quality optics are responsible for the very good focus and clear images that you can enjoy. The achromatic objective and widefield eyepieces offer a large range of magnifications.
The instrument has smooth and precise controls for the stage. It is important to have proper maneuverability when working with a mechanical stage. When the operation is effortless, the results will show evident improvement.
The light and condenser adjust neatly. The Abbe condenser and 3W LED light are accountable for creating the environment that furnishes better quality images to the observer.
It is endowed with an astounding camera with 14 MP that allows digital zoom. By using the software you can obtain images in three different resolutions and process them.
The focusing point of the digital camera doesn’t match the optical focusing point.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($615.99)
This nifty microscope with USB digital camera and slide preparation kit is the perfect purchase for students that want to learn science. It comes with a 360-degree rotatable monocular head, a durable metal framework, coarse and fine focusing, full optical glass elements, and an LED illumination system that can be powered by three AA batteries or an outlet.
There are five magnification settings that you can play with: 40X, 100X, 250X, 400X, and 1000X. To get a better view of the image, you can connect the digital camera to your PC using a USB cable. You can also use the advanced processing, editing and measuring software when viewing a specimen.
The software is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 and MacOS computers. If you don’t like using the camera or you don’t have a computer readily available, you are free to use the microscope without it.
The digital camera can be used to capture still images and videos, and you can even use it to view a live stream of what the camera is recording in real time on your PC.
You can use the camera on Mac computers as a driverless imaging device, and it is compatible with various applications such as Photo Booth and ProScope.
Apart from the device itself, the manufacturer includes already prepared biological-specimen slides, red and blue stains, and some tools to help you put together your own specimen slides.
The microscope is very sturdy and built from durable materials that will guarantee that any student will get years of reliable use out of it.
There’s not much to complain about this great instrument, but it is worth mentioning that the manufacturer does not list Linux or Chrome OS as compatible with the digital camera or the included software.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($141.99)
Plugable USB 2.0
If you’re passionate about exploring the world at the microscopic level and you’re on the lookout for a microscope to help you with your hobbies and magnify those tiny details, you might want to consider the Digital USB Microscope from Plugable for a sturdy yet easy-to-use device.
Enabling students, collectors, and testers to work quickly and effectively, this unit delivers up to 250x magnification and is ideal for coin and stamp analysis, parasite identification, classroom exploration, and much more. You can use it either with the stand for lower magnifications or handheld for a quick examination.
You can also place it directly on the item of your interest to enjoy the highest magnification. Additionally, the unit comes with built-in LEDs and offers the possibility to adjust the brightness so you can illuminate the object properly. It works with various operating systems and can take 1600×1200 snapshots.
Developed for a variety of activities that involve microscopic analysis, this unit is ideal for students learning new things, collectors analyzing coins or stamps, testers, children, as well as industrial applications.
It offers up to 250x magnification and boasts a capacitive touch button that ensures blur-free image captures. You can also initiate image capture from within the companion software that can be downloaded.
The built-in lighting system can be adjusted so you can enjoy the right brightness when examining various objects.
Thanks to the versatile stand, you can easily analyze large and small objects at any angle. The microscope can even be attached to any smooth surface due to the suction cup mount it comes with.
The device is compatible with many operating systems.
The microscope does not work with iOS devices. Check the device compatibility list before placing your order.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
If you are trying to avoid breaking the bank and are resolute on finding a digital microscope under one hundred dollars, perhaps it is just the right time to check out the specs of the Opti-TekScope OT-V1.
Keep in mind that, since this is a very affordable alternative, it does not come with as many features as some of the ones we’ve described earlier on. Even so, the 2-megapixel camera that this model comes equipped with is decent enough particularly if you’re a collector and plan to verify the authenticity of the pieces you may be interested in spending a lot of money on.
The applications for which the Opti-TekScope can be utilized are close to infinite; however, it should be underlined that this model might be less suited for therapeutic areas where a higher magnification is necessary.
Detail engineering and circuit work are two of the examples that come to mind when glancing at the design of this microscope, given that it has been created in such a way that it allows owners to manipulate the specimen as they want to. They are not restricted by the lack of room, as they would be when using a compound microscope.
It uses aluminum construction and that renders it more stable and durable. It is also lightweight so you can carry it with you when you need to use it on the job.
The microscope has good magnification and reasonable image quality. It doesn’t stand out but people are pleased with the result.
The unit has good built-in adjustable light feature, and with its 8 LED lights it is able to provide sufficient lighting for a clear image or video.
The software produces bitmap still photographs. Which means you can further process the raw material and enhance it with photo editing programs.
It has multiple functionalities. It can be used as a microscope, an endoscope or a USB web camera.
The mounting arm has some side to side play so it is difficult to adjust focus because you lose target.
It lacks proper instructions and users have had difficulties in assembling it.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($77.95)
The OT-HD is yet another cost-efficient option that you may need to take into account if you’re looking for affordability. It comes with almost the same characteristics as the Opti-TekScope unit we’ve mentioned above, but there are several difference between the two.
For one, the resolution of the camera belonging to the OT-HD is lower when compared to other models in the line and even to the one of the cam of the OT-V1. The magnification is the same, but this product can also be used as an endoscope given that the USB web camera is capable of doing its job even in rather moist environments.
Moreover, the OT-HD comes with eight LED lights that can give a hand to users when it comes to examining items on a microscopic level.
The neat thing about these lights is that their brightness can be customized depending the circumstances and piece that is being analyzed. Since the OT-HD weighs in at just 1.1 pounds, it goes without saying that it’s compact and lightweight enough to be carried around efficiently and as such, it can be taken where its services are required.
This digital microscope is made with high-quality materials. Similar products on the market are made of plastic, but this uses aluminum. The stand is also aluminum-made and the screws are stainless steel.
The Opti-TekScope OT-HD is a thin instrument, similar to a borescope. It’s therefore easy to hold and allows easy movement.
It comes with a stand. To analyze objects such as rocks, insects, coins or electronics, a stand that keeps it in position but allows adjustments is well-suited.
It has macro-focus and fine focus. Although it’s a small microscope, you can tune the side wheels for a macro focus and the knob at its top for precision.
LED brightness is controllable. To obtain a better view of the inspected objects, the manufacturer placed a LED control on the USB cable.
The crude finish and machining of the aluminum parts make it less attractive.
Users suggest that its software could use some improvement.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($89)
Although it is basically the same portable USB microscope as the previously showcased one, the Crenova stands out from many other models we’ve seen while doing our research. For one, it is among the very few units that can be used even with mobile devices, be they Android or iOS mobile phones or tablets.
The magnification capabilities of the Crenova are the standard ones of a low-power alternative, in that it can be used for schools and classes where teachers should show to their students how a simple yet fully efficient microscope can be used to analyze the tiny items around us.
The core advantage of selecting the Crenova is that it comes with an entirely capable 720P camera that makes it possible for owners to capture the images.
Besides, there are few limitations to the camera as it can also be utilized to capture video files. From what we have gathered, the Cremona can be used either in a USB or WiFi mode, depending on the connections you have available at any given moment. If your internet access is restricted, perhaps you ought to consider relying on the USB connectivity capability of the Crenova.
The Crenova UM018 is simple to assemble. It has three main components, so you can put it together and back into storage in no time.
It’s definitely one of the optical products you can use without any prior training. It’s easy to use it even you’ve never handled a microscope before.
With an image sensor of 5 MP, the image is clear and details can be seen very well. The magnification is in the range of 20x to 300x.
The application is user-friendly and has plenty of features. You can perform measurements on the items that you’re interested in or transfer files for processing.
It’s a versatile microscope, destined mostly for examination of rocks, coins, plants, hair, and others.
Hard to focus when using the maximum magnification. The zoom is on the scope and even touching it moves it and blurs the image.
The software is on CD support, so you must have a CD-ROM.
This is the case with the Mustcam 1080P. While it is a perfectly capable HDMI digital microscope that comes with more than enough resolution, the model can’t really help you with anything if you plan to glance at any blood samples or specimens of this kind. However, it might do a great job when being employed in veterinary medicine, as it can be of assistance when it comes to determining the type of ectoparasite that is affecting a pet.
Typically, the Mustcam seems to have been designed for users who might feel the need to connect the microscope to a monitor instead of a computer.
Nonetheless, this product can be used with a personal computer or laptop as it does feature USB connectivity. Measurement functions within the software that comes along with the product per se are only capable when the device is connected to a laptop. Since it can typically be bought for less than one hundred and forty dollars, it goes without saying that this model is a real bargain for people who want a totally dependable microscope and aren’t willing to spend five hundred dollars for it.
The high-quality optics with a nice capacity to adjust will output microscopic image quality with this mini-camera.
This product has really good optics coupled with a neat capacity to adjust. The microscopic image that results has increased clarity.
The convenience of setup and fine-tuning has the additional advantage of HDMI connection. Any monitor that has such a port can receive the images and display them in detail.
Mustcam Digital has software that includes a wide range of functions. You can use it to do size measurement or time lapse.
The designers had portability in mind. It is possible to use a portable power source on this microscope and save captured images on a microSD card.
It’s not easy to adjust the focus and users need time to get a hold of how to do things. Using trial and error could be a winning strategy.